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FOX News Watch

News/Business. Host Jon Scott reports on media bias in the coverage of weekly news events.

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Romney 8, Libya 6, Sandy 4, Syria 3, Gingrich 3, Zimmerman 3, Clint Eastwood 3, New York 3, Juan 3, Realtime 2, Fema 2, Barack Obama 2, U.n. 2, Benghazi 2, Etch-a-sketch 2, Mormonism 2, Israel 2, Pierce Morgan 1, Richard Engel 1, Connecticut 1,
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  FOX News    FOX News Watch    News/Business. Host Jon Scott reports on  
   media bias in the coverage of weekly news events.  

    December 29, 2012
    11:00 - 12:00am PST  

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>> jon: on the panel. fox news contributor, judy miller, rich grenell that served for four ambassadors and jim pinkerton and fox news political analyst. juan williams. i'm jon scott. fox news watch is on right now. >> we can now definitively say that president barack obama will be re-elected, mitt romney will come up a loser in this race. >> jon: the billing media story
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of the year, the presidential election. that was how it ended. barack obama beating mitt romney and an end to a bitter season that started early with the g.o.p. primaries and events like this. >> we saw some of this black church in south carolina where a woman asked you why you referred a president obama as the food stamp president. it sounds as if you are suitcase to go belittle people. >> first of all, juan, the fact is that more people have been put on food stamps by barack obama than any president in american history. [ cheers and applause ] >> i know among the political kli correct and i'm supposed to you use facts that are uncomfortable. [ laughter ] >> so that was just part of a
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long and memorable primary season. juan, is that your highlight of the year. [ laughter ] >> my highlight? it is telling again for newt gingrich. he in a subsequent debate when we was asked about extramarital life and enough about these questions and made the media successfully a target of his ire. >> jon: on the republican side, jim, it is often the case that the media go after republican candidates? >> right and that is why gingrich was so effective in pivoting off, for example, juan, the real issue of the debates is never what perry said to herman cain, it's what they said to the public. gingrich showed awareness. the people on the stage are small poe at a time's compared to the audience. for example, on the on the other
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side, ryan debate against biden, he dance today the questions and never once did he turn to the audience hearing shear more media bias. the audience would have loved it independents would have agree that the media are biased against republicans. >> jon: all those debates, did they illuminate the process the presidential campaign? >> i think they did. first of all they were catnip for reporters. there were thousands of reporters. it was amazing that anything else got covered. when you have that many debates. you got to see these candidates and it was wide range of candidates, really demonstrating a capability or lack of capability on complex issuess.
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the voters made up their minds. you saw one media promoted figure fall after they couldn't stand the scrutiny that came upon a front-runner. >> jon: obama campaign made clear attempts of trying to demonize mitt romney. they settled on him as eventual challenger. media, as well. there was a newsweek cover poking fun at mitt romney's mormonism for example. >> media is a target rich environment. they are trying define us as something as we are not. mormonism issue was front and center early on. think the romney campaign did a good job of trying to downplay that. certain members were nervous about bringing it up but the social media types and bloggers were constantly trying to make an issue and picked up by some.
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>> jon: what about the conventions when mitt romney got nominated, when barack obama got renominated, was it fair? >> when i look at the republican convention, the coverage, there was an effort to fear but i think they fell off the knowledge. it was clint eastwood and new famous empty chair. suddenly somehow a hollywood actor who was brought in because he had done the ad during the superbowl that seemed to be pro obama, but here he is endorsing mitt romney that was bigger than anything that mitt romney did. that is the most memorable event from a convention that i believe not only did mitt romney stand up but also paul ryan and several hispanics did an excellent job to present a conservative reason to oust president obama. >> nobody remembers the flap
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over god was going to be on the platform. clint eastwood got all the attention. >> there is a certain rule here. republicans to have learn it. if the whole essence is a tightly choreographed event, then you do that. you put things to help you better, rubio was terrific and videos of the families, those were moving and nobody saw them because they were in the wrong hour, in the middle of it. don't say to clint eastwood, don't go out and wing it. there has been considerable cottage industry of finger pointing. most of loyal campaign ads are blaming romney himself. >> i it was struck by tom hamburger's piece that called the campaign campaign malpractice. there were so many mistakes it
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was obvious to the press. the republicans kept saying it was media bias but it was badly run campaign and the voters should showed it was clear. >> when he wee got to the debates, they had to thumb on one side, memorable moment when cnn's kennedy crowley gave the president a little lift. >> it took him 14 days before he called the attack in benghazi. >> he did in fact first. he did call it an act of terror. it did, as well, two weeks or so for the whole idea of being their a riot to come out. >> after the president had done so poorly. did that salvage the race for him? >> it certainly helped.
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look, again this is where romney look what you just saw was my opponent and my other opponent candy crowley teaming up against me. it's a hard situation to do this on live tv in front of hundred million people. you need the gift of situational awareness to do what gingrich would do in the primaries. >> one quick mention here. i think it is worthy of our discussion. is that twitter and social media played a bigger role in the election and media coverage than ever before. if you were following conservative blogs, conservative websites, conservative media you really had a different view of this election and different view of the debates. first debate that is so famous turned on the fact that so many people were involved in realtime in scoring that debate as opposed.... >> and pressure on reporters. >> jon: next on news watch,
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pollalapolooza. >> i brought binders full of women. >> as game changers by the press. but were these true verbal errors or made up missteps we by the media? find out next on news watchchchh
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roads and bridges, if you
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got a business, you didn't build that, somebody else made that happen. >> i'm in this race because i care about americans. i'm not concerned about the safety net there. i'll fix it. i'm not concerned about the very rich. >> he is letting the big banks write their own rules. unchain wall street. they will put y'all back in chains. >> jon: a small sample of what media portrayed as gaffes. we were talking on the break about your reaction when mitt romney made his binders full of women comment. >> i thought it was a flaw because when he said it, that is funny way to put it. i didn't think it was worthy of what followed which was several days where it dominated social media and then made its way into mainstream media as evidence he was out of touch with women or that he really doesn't know
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enough women. there was political cartoons suggesting it was old bay boy binders, i couldn't believe it. >> and the context is really the key here. conteernor romney was trying to find women to promote and to put into the cabinet. that is wonderful thing to celebrate. the fact it was put into a binder, it seems silly. i can guarantee you that the obama campaign was there watching and looking for a mess up that would relate to women and jump on it because it stemmed from the obama campaign. >> they could take out of context and manipulate it. >> forgive me, gentlemen, as a woman woman, i heard that, there we go again. it's going across somebody's desk nobody can find a qualified woman.
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that is what resonated, not all gaffes are created equal. some resonate with the american people. whether or not the media chose to do it. >> the difference was that it was messaged and tailored and pushed. most people including the liberals sitting next to me didn't take it that way. >> that is true. isn't it true that governor romney had more women in his cabinet than any other governor at that point? >> i don't think the romney campaign did a very good job. they ran away from the healthcare thing. by the time he cinched the nomination by march they forgot to pivot they forgot to do it. >> one thing they did a terrible job at they treated the media like a group. they would give briefings as a group.
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i'm a secretary by training and you can't treat the media as group. you have to get them fighting against themselves. give competition amongst reporters, you leak to one and you give one an interview and you sit down another so they are not all getting the same information and they are not able to gang up on you. >> jon: we talked about the fact there were so many polls taken. there was so much coverage of the campaign and the survey is interesting. pew study found that both campaigns did actually get more negative coverage, but the preponderance was far more the romney campaign. do the numbers surprise you, juan? >> it does surprise you. there is more balance there because i think the american people think the press thinks
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they were pro obama. >> numbers show they were. [ laughter ] >> the spread between positive and negative was 23-11, that is two to one shasmt big difference. >> i think if you ask people, people say overwhelming they believe that. >> people think that. pew center has its own methodology. >> hundred electoral votes is not a close election. i am amazed to see the bias was that small. >> we were talking earlier about an incident, a gaffe, i thought it was unfair to romney. you didn't build it gaffe which was a theme of the republican convention, the fact checkers have said, wait a second, listen to the context of that speech.
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>> the think the context was worse. when he goes through a litany of denigrating success and wealthy people, the whole thing is worse. the context for that is outrageous. if you listen to the whole clip. >> listen to the whole peach speech and what he is clear, infrastructure, bridges, roads, education people. >> successful people, how dare them think.... >> i think that is spin. that came from the right. >> he actually said it. >> that is like romney saying i don't care about the poor. he didn't mean that. >> i wrote a piece about this, obama said the words american system, which goes back to henry clay, infrastructure and monopoly and rule of law are pretty important for anybody getting rich. >> remember, etch-a-sketch, most
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damage to the romney campaign came from people from the romney campaign. etch-a-sketch, you turn over a page and there will be something else. at the end the american people didn't know who he was or they didn't like the person that was emerging. what should have been an election about the economy came an election about empathy or lack thereof. >> that was the biggest game changer was 47%. david korn gets credit for most decisive school of the whole season. >> jon: more news watch ahead, first if you think you see something of media bias, get on twitter. why did the media ignore some of the big of the stories of the year?
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>> mr. president, you went out of your way to avoid the use of terrorism in connection with the libya attack. do you believe it was a terrorist ago? >> it's too early to tell what group was involved, but obviously it was an attack on americans. we are going to be working with the libyan government to make sure we bring these folks to justice one way or the other. >> jon: that was president obama the day after the deadly a attacks on our consulate, benghazi attacks conducted by terrorists. four americans americans including our ambassador were killed. the controversy failed protection and controversy about how they spun details leading up to the attack, ignored by the media to this day. why? >> i have to say that the news
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watch team just nailed it. that clip to me should have been the entire narrative of the romney campaign. president said it's too early to know if this is a terrorist attack. he didn't know or didn't want to admit this was a terrorist attack. weeks later in the leadup before the election, he then changes and tries to say, it was a terrorist attack and we called it from that moment. it was 9/11, he didn't call it a terror attack and he didn't pay the price in the wreed for that. >> why are the media not terribly interested in the result of that day? >> because it was portrayed as a republican attack on the president at that time we should be pulling together because four americans are dead. it was a successful campaign to politicize something. >> by the obama campaign. >> certain media people but it
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was very few. >> it was portrayed, who was that? that would be the mainstream media, "new york times," the networks, they portrayed romney as a thug getting away with this stuff. they let president obama off the hook and cbs, 60 minutes can which has been this must be raking tv show duck raking show was sitting on the transcripts for weeks. >> from my perspective i thought what you had here was a situation was thoroughly politicized with the goal of defeating the idea that the obama administration had won, killed osama bin laden and taking credit for it. two, any success in terms of any foreign policy in the middle east. >> the president said al-qaeda had been decimated.
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that was his foreign policy statement. on 9/11 there was a terrorist attack and u.s. ambassador in libya was killed. guess what? the media jumped on romney and said this is political. >> it was political. >> it changed from the obama campaign first. >> the attack that took place in libya what was going on in egypt and elsewhere where did video did prompt the attack. >> mitt romney said the obama campaign is not portraying this in the proper light. they have a weak response. guess what? we found out from that clip right there. the president didn't believe it was a terrorist attack on 9/11. >> i think you are hanging on a word, terrorists, extremists you. >> i think the president meant it was not a terrorist attack because they were watching the realtime attack happening.
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juan, you are repeating the spin tunisia and egypt and libya. they are separate. you have been putting a sequence within libya, too. >> lib with a comes after those attacks had occurred. >> the thing they were different sources. the difference genesis and one was crowd mob action. >> to equate the two are to make it sound like all the same. >> this came afterwards, it could be that people had extremist goals taking advantage of this moment in the middle east. >> fallacy, libya thing was terrorism as rick has been saying. >> now we know. >> jon: and to continue jim's latin run, personae, ambassador susan rice was spawned by the
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abhorrent video. then when there was different story behind it she withdraw her tomorrow nation to be secretary of state -- she withdrew her nomination. >> when i went on the sunday shows on september 16th i was doing just as i have always done providing the best information available to me and available to our government at the time. i was very careful to explain that the information was preliminary and it could change. yet i think it was misconstrued and contorted to something much more nefarious that was not my intention. >> jon: having worked at the u.n., what do you think of that explanation? >> i have seen the u.n. ambassador's deck. there is classified computer on that desk. i know she has entire staff that is geared toward intelligence gathering. to is suggest she was handed
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talking points at the end of the process and just repeat these is bold faced live. she watches on the classified system how the points of are developed. she knows what is supposed to be fact or what we're thinking is fact. so to suggest at the end of the day that this was about the youtube video a flat out lie and wasn't held accountable for weeks. >> next on news watch, tragic shootings and how the media reacted. >> the sandy hook school massacre, aurora, colorado shootings, the killing of trayvon martin. all three getting major media attention. was the coverage guided by a liberal agenda? that is next on news watch. ou rt
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4:00 p.m. eastern alongside gregg jarrett. >> we will make sure that f there is anything is needed we get it out immediately. i want to thank you for everything you've done and we appreciate that. >> connecticut state police lieutenant paul advance talking to people. the killer committed suicide as police closed in on him. one of many tragedies that
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received major attention this year. it's a challenge for the media in covering a story like newtown. juan, as you know well know, talking about it is tough for any parent? >> it's one of the great difficulties. you want to be responsible because you are aware that fox news watch exists. you act in a way that is rude and, get it first, get that interview first. be most aggressive in covering a story. you risk a deeper sense to the public and you will be held accountable. you will notice here that the rules with regard to interviewing children, rules with regard to pursuing families of victims really were held in check in this instance. i think there is a new set of rules with regard to media behavior. >> jon: there were a lot of mistakes made in early coverage and lots of this has to do with the social media atmosphere in
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which everybody's facebook pages. >> and feeling that reporters think they are in competition with twitter. they got his age wrong, identity wrong, they named his brother. whether the mother worked at the school, they got that wrong. this was not a good occasion for the press. to me it symbolized what i was talking about the church services on sunday, big signs out in front, no signs and no media. at their best, reporters are necessary evil, in many cases the public viewed them as evil. >> glenn: should the media not pay attention that commit these atrocities in hopes are preventing it the next time around? >> that is an impossible dream. it's not going to happen. the early mistakes that were
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made a lot were made by reporters that were quoting the police. identity mishap was the result of the fact that the perpetrator was carrying his brother's driver's license so the name that was released was the name of the brother. it was quickly corrected as soon as the police figured out what had happened. we can't be better than the police. we are dependent on information that the police have or other sources. i don't think that a lot of the criticism is fair at this point. >> journalists don't fact check anymore. they just rejournal at a time it. it's a form of gossip in many ways. this is what someone told me. maybe in situations like this, a journalist should say the police are saying.... >> they did quote the police
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being the source. >> jon: one of big crime stories of the year was the shooting of trayvon martin back in late february. that was the story that got widespread media attention when it happened. >> as more photographs of zimmerman come out showing him beat up, the story has completely disappeared. that was supposed to be the rodney king case and didn't work out that way. >> that story has continued in the american press. zimmerman is suing nbc because they edited a tape to make him look like a racist. i will say to you that that case is two counts is worthy of the media attention it received. one, it is one of these line of gun cases that we have seen risen to a higher level what happened in connecticut.
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a black person was shot because he was playing music too loud in a parking garage. the 2nd thing i would say, there are so many shootings in the black community on a daily basis. they get no attention. in that case the media found it convenient because they thought that zimmerman was a white male that shot a black kid wearing a hoodie and it made for a caricature of the story rather than the reality. >> it was also the social media that picked up this door first and made eight national story. that is a positive side. >> it took a month before the story hit. >> the negative side we know all too well. >> jon: well let you know what happens with the lawsuit. next on news watch, the challenge for journalists covering conflict. >> mideast conflict heated up, tensions between israel and its
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makes. a civil war in syria and nuclear threats from iran. all these stories, did the media pass or fail in the coverage? are journalists on the ground becoming real targets? details next on news watch.
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physically beaten and there is a lot of psychological torture. they made one choose to shoot first. they pretended to shoot davi several times and when you are blindfolded and then fired a gun up in the air. >> jon: a report on the civil war tearing that country apart. richard engel and his crew kidnapped by what he believes
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were loyal to assad regime. they were allowed to go free after a firefight between captures and rebel forces. it's the dangers of this work. >> it's getting ever more dangerous, with each passing year we have lost 28 journalists in syria this year which rivals the worst, but the story has to be told. we are criticized if we don't tell the story and criticized reckless if we do. if write an editor as richard's story shows, i would not let a reporter go inside at this moment. >> jon: i know you were friend of the early reporters? >> very brave, pioneering reporter and her loss is felt to this day. >> these are the real journalists, who are risking their lives to tell the story. you got at npr who is fearless
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and edie who is one of the first female journalists in vietnam they deliver the real news. >> at a price that is just becoming too high. if you are responsible for these reports -- peerdz. >> there is a lot of volunteering on it? >> looking back on it. i don't think it's great to do. many journalists, if richard engel, one of the most experienced reporters in the field, its cautionary tale. >> he is very brave guy and fully admire him. he did videotape himself going across the border into syria. there might be a certain arch here, look i'm just reporting from a semi anonymous place instead of broadcasting my
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presence so anybody including the people that captured him would know where he was. >> it's more difficult job to do this job. there are fewer and fewer of them. the understanding by the zegs pots of the world you have to control the media. they are getting better at it, i'm sad to say. getting better at it what we would consider mainstream media control but better in control of the googles of the world and better in control of the tweeting and twittering. >> there are less journalists doing real reporting in dangerous places. we have more journalists like buzz feed that quick in and out gotcha stories. >> you are following people tweeting from refugee people. any eager news consumer can, as you were pointing out, find ways to get perspectives if not
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necessarily fully rounded journalism. >> the question is the information you are getting. some of these despots have figured out ways to shape the coverage to provide favors to certain people. >> there comes on a point where you draw the line. an interview with osama bin laden was just great before 9/11. i got offered one. after 9/11, if you took him up on that offer you were being reckless and irresponsible because he had proven he was going to kill as many americans as possible. there comes a line for the safety of that reporter even if they want to go we're not going to let this happen. >> i want to mention we just went through a war with the palestinians and israel. one of the incredible outcomes, now you have both governments going to tweet and send out messages, their version of the conflict. i've never seen anything like
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it. it's new in this year. >>have some of those tweets on this program. next, the media take on super storm sandy. >> historically we've never seen an event, a perfect storm that makes landfall. >> she was big and nasty and she was destructive. super storm sandy, slammed the east coast causing major damage and heartache. did the media coverage pass or fail?
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>>. i've got a job to do here in new jersey that is much bigger than presidential politics. i have a job to do. i have 2.4 million people out of power, i have devastation on the
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shore. i've got floods in the northern part of the my state. if you think i give a damn about presidential politics then you don't know me. >> jon: just days after hurricane sandy and ravaged his state and other areas in the region. the media were criticized for overhyping that storm but if you look what it did, i don't know. >> they nailed it. they said it was going to be a terrible storm and turned out that way. i think the coverage afterwards because it was in line with the election was terrible in that katrina coverage was all about the 'president of united states handling. this one was not. it was not about president obama's handling. as we have seen on this show and other shows, it hasn't gone well. there are a lot of people still without help from the government. that criticism was not directed at president obama at all.
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>> jon: katrina killed a lot more people than sandy but what do you think about fema and their handling of it. >> if there is no question, if you are homes after sandy, many more people were killed in katrina, but plenty of people in a big city like new york are still homeless. media like bloomberg, they like christy, they don't have any person to blame. they blame bush 43. >> come on. i was watching a lot of television during katrina. it's not only the numbers of people killed. it was the complete disaster of fema. doing one heck of a job when people were in a stadium where they didn't have a food and water. this performance was much better much improved. the president himself handled it
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better. he came up to new york. >> let's be real about when you call 911. its local responder. when you are on your roof and you can't get off your roof you are calling somebody, it doesn't ring at the white house. it is the local responder, mayor that is in charge. it was a disaster down in hurricane katrina because the local responders did a terrible job. >> that is not true. first of all this is a terrible situation. we are the federal government and specific the white house did not pay attention, did not understand the severity of the damage being done to new orleans and that entire area and that population. it was racial overlay to it that added power to the story. this situation happened toward the end of a political campaign and you have a republican governor chris christie praising
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the president's performance. that became the news items, why would he do that, it undermines mitt romney's campaign. but in terms of the government's performance, the president made a virtue of the fact i'll do anything to help you. >> did the media embrace that image of christie. >> and it shows showed a situational awareness. i don't care about that. he was speaking total people in new jersey and the country who don't like partisan politics and went right to them. the payoff for christie he is now going to sweep to reelection in 2013. as his most prominent opponent dropped out. if you play the media properly as he has been doing for governor you can be a superstar. >> jon: next, some of the worst
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reporting of the year now ending.
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>> jon: every year a conservative watchdog organize, media research center names the worst reporters for the year. votes were cast. this year, they have 25 that you will recognize. for the obama award, runners up,
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pierce morgan, andrew sullivan important asking why are obama's critics so dumb. diane sawyer for her report on barack obama's love letters. the winner of the obamagasm award. >> he has raised his family right. in a blind test, becomes head. top editor. he has not broken a law, perfect father, perfect american and all they do is trash the guy. >> jon: next the you a das it for the analysis of the year. runners up, "new york times," andrew liptak for his piece on constitution. shapiro for refusing to stand and say the pledge allegiance at a romney political rally and "washington pos